By Anna Murphy
New York, NY, USA
I recently bought something called "classtivity" which is a passport to ten different workout classes in the New York area. It's $50 so it really pays for itself in less than two sessions (one class is ~$30). Of course it seemed like I could/would use this passport before a month was over. But like all best made plans, this one fell through and I probably only did about five.
Well, the last week of February I realized the expiration date was near so I desperately signed up for whatever was available the next day. It was called 30/30 and was held in the UES (not the most convenient part of the city for me) at a location called Pedal NYC.
I felt mildly in shape after partaking in the various workouts that NYC had to offer – pilates, yoga, cycling, barre classes, to name a few – so I didn't really think much of this class described as "30 minutes of cycling, followed by 30 minutes of TRX." Nor did I stop to ponder what TRX might be. I just blindly hopped on a northern-bound train strapped into my giant puffer coat (the only thing that makes leaving the house/working out bearable) sans water bottle.
When I got there, I was greeted by the owner/trainer and summoned into the cycling room. I bought a water bottle at last minute thinking that might be a good idea. Good idea? After five minutes of warm up, I had nearly downed my bottle and the water was quickly transforming itself into pouring sweat.
The trainer was like a friendly drill sergeant. He yelled words of encouragement and got up close and personal so he could actually see if you were pedaling to full capacity. I loved/hated it. What made it better/worse was that there were six total people in the class so I couldn't get lost in the crowd.
Even though the room was dark and the jams bumpin', I couldn't help thinking that this must be what hell was like. I thought I was going to faint at times and just when I thought I couldn't push one more foot into a pedal, he would shout, "Stand Up! 10 More Seconds." Finally, it was over. But it really wasn't because we all had to do the second portion of the class.
I literally stumbled off my bike into the room next door. And there I found out that TRX involves resistance bands strapped to a wall. It's kind of like circuit strength/cardio. And depending on who you are, it might be equated to a torturing device.
If we thought the trainer was a tough cycling instructor, he really hit full stride when he got into the training room. I kept looking around thinking – Is anyone else feeling the way I do…as in near-death? I refilled my water bottle four times that hour. I remember vaguely thinking that if I didn't faint from exertion, I might drown myself from the amount of fluid I was guzzling.
During a massive physical/mental struggle to go from forearm plank to push up back to forearm plank for what seemed like the millionth time, I had a vision of what a pitiful sight I must be. My eyes were squeezed shut in pain, my entire body was trembling and I was making sounds that I've only ever heard in zoos or maybe on The Biggest Loser. I was giving everything I had to this workout. And I needed it to end. But just when I thought I couldn't go on, the trainer appeared by my side, adjusted my position…and my attitude by telling me I could do it and that he was proud of me.
When it finally was over, I collapsed in an emotional/exhausted heap. I would never have said I was "out of shape" before, but this class (aka booty-kicking/best workout of my life) proved I had a way to go.
The endorphins that hit me afterward were indescribable and I felt like I could do anything. Pedal NYC's slogan goes, "Summer bodies are made in winter," and I think that's entirely true. So I'll be back before bathing suit season kicks into high gear. At least next time, I know what I'm getting into.